Thursday, 20 December 2007

Buy FIFTEEN; get ONE free!

Good old FlyBuys. For a year's worth of card-swiping every time I buy lentils and dried shitake mushrooms at Coles, I've racked up a grand total of 876 points. Just another twenty-one thousand one hundred and twenty-four points and I can fly for free to Adelaide. By my calculations, assuming a steady rate of grocery purchasing over the next few decades, I'll be in Adelaide by the year 2032. Those who are tempted to despair at these figures should despair not, because as a special seasonal gift to me, FlyBuys will post me a $20 voucher if I spend $300 at Coles in the merrie month of December. Check out that ratio, ladies and gees. 1:15. Merry Christmas.


eyrie said...

Given that one has to spend $2000 to get the $20 voucher with the Franklins loyalty card, that seems like a very generous offer indeed and you would do well to snap it up whilst there's still time.

Is anyone else as fascinated as I am by the "testimonials" on the packets of "You'll love Coles..." products? The Christmas ones amuse me especially. Perhaps I need more genuine amusement in my life.

Lachlan said...

I agree about the Coles product testimonials. The Coles soda water bottles have a picture of a middle-aged fellow saying words to the effect of "I enjoy drinking soda water with my friends".

Thank heavens Coles doesn't own a brand of toilet paper.

Mr Mean said...

I agree with eyrie, the offer seems relatively generous. Most loyalty schemes associated with credit cards, for which the card issuer usually charges $22 to $33 annually just for continuing membership, only give loyalty 'rewards' to the value of 3% of the amount spent on the card. 5% would be considered exceptionally high.

At the rate of a $20 reward every $300 spent at Coles, that makes 6.67%, and more than double what's the average return for loyalty rewards.

mark said...

What Coles and other organisations get out of loyalty cards is worth much more to them than the stingy "reward" they give out: per-customer historical buying record, regardless of whether you pay cash, credit or debit. On top of that they have your postcode and other personal information which quickly adds up to some very juicy data to have the statistician pore over.

Maria said...

Well, Mark, of course it is! ... I don't think there are many companies who would give out a kickback for nothing!

You do have a choice, be loyal to a supermarket and get a kickback, of course it is worth a lot to the supermarket, possibly more than the little $20 they give out.

On the other hand you can choose not to be lured and shop all over the place, no loyalty, independent stores, no reward for you, no reward for them.

How it works is this - they provide a system where the little $20 they give out is worth less from their perspective than the loyalty they receive from you.

They hope to lure you in either by your irrational high, and/or by your thinking that from your perspective, the $20 is worth more to you than your giving your details out and your loyalty to Coles. If it wasn't worth it, you would not be loyal and ditch the $20.

You are thinking "win", they are thinking "win". That is how their reward scheme works.

alexis said...

I like to think there's a team of data analysts poring over customers' purchase records and constructing smutty narratives: "Jonathan B. of Upper Bonglebrush bought three tubs of strawberries and a box of latex-free rubber gloves on Thursday, and then on Friday he bought a bag of oatmeal and a tube of toothpaste. I think we know his little secret, don't we?" [Wink, nudge.]

eyrie said...

I don't much like the idea of my details being fed into a database either, but it's not at the top of the very long dishonour roll of dastardly things Coles and Woolworths do.

I have observed the middle-aged soda drinker, but there's also the youngish "party people" with the chips. And the Christmas ones are good too, especially those featuring children. I detect a slight fascist hint about the whole "You'll love Coles" scenario, but that probably really just is me.

Maria said...

Funny idea, 'Lexi, but to take it seriously, possible but I don't think Coles could be bothered, that is the company. On the topic though, I have heard some people talk about dating by picking up in the supermarket because you can tell a lot about a person by the trolley. People have come up with theories:

For instance, if a person has heaps of Homebrand in his shopping trolley, he is probably a cheapskate or someone not on a high salary. Girls seeking men who are financially stable/high flyers, avoid.

People who have high fibre cereal in their trolleys, and fruit, and veges, etc, are probably helth conscious, so if you are a gym junkie, they might be in line with your values.

People who are buying baby food are probably attached, or have children. Avoid

Men who are buying sanitary pads/tampons are probably attached.

People who buy meat aren't vegetarians. Vegetarians, avoid.

And so on.

If you find someone with lots of items similar to yours in the same trolley, you may have a similar lifestyle/habits/tastes.

There was even an article about some ideas people had about "signalling" in supermarkets, such as placing a large bunch of bananas in the baby-seat section of your trolley was meant to signal you were available and interested in picking up dates in a supermarket.

I pity those who did not know that signal and simply happened to place a large bunch of bananas in that section of the trolley, and suddenly got swamped by hopefuls!

lucy tartan said...

Not just you at all, Eyrie (scroll down a bit, if you click), and Coles / fly buys may have been furiously jotting down in their crabbed handwriting a record of everything I've bought there since 1994, but they still haven't worked out that I don't eat meat, if the recent junk mail voucher exhorting me to buy $30 worth of Spring Lamb is anything to go by.

I would happily have bought the lamb only there's no fence around the front garden, another significant fact Coles is yet to wake up to.

Maria said...

The one I note, eyrie, is the bulk buyer. It's always interesting to see the person in front of you at check out with about ten packs of the large packs of Coco pops, twelve packs of frozen dinners, and twenty lots of tinned chicken soup, and fifteen packs of tiny teddy biscuits and nothing else, probably because it was this week's special.

Eyrie said...

Thank you, Lucy. It is indeed a relief to know that I am not alone in the curious amount of bile I find myself directing towards the "You'll love Coles" brand (it is also oddly pleasing to discover that I really want to own a pirate door too and that my present guardianship of four cats is possibly not completely ridiculous). Apparently the long term plan is to roll out three different strata of Coles brands, with Homebrand as the cheapest, "You'll love.." as the medium range and "George G. Coles" (or something similar) as the snooty one. At which point, one imagines, they'll have all the manufacturers and suppliers completely under the control of their evil empire. I think I read this in the Good Weekend or some such a while ago. The Christmas ones, you may have noticed, say that such-and-such "loves Christmas", which, I suppose, is at least better than the folks at Channel Nine, who can only manage to "heart" it.

Maria, I don't tend to notice the bulk buyer so much, unless she's got the brochure in hand. What intrigues me are people with very hyperactive children buying an entire trolley full of sugar. I was recently amused by a group of students trying to get two packs of twenty toilet rolls or so for the price of one. They seemed to have travelled quite some distance for that cheap toilet paper too.

I also rage at the gradual disappearance of all the small brands. Ah, for the days when the local supermarket stocked Cape Byron ice cream!

Miss Eagle said...

I don't have flybys - they have to pay me quite a bit before I am willing to contribute to their marketing information. And then there's the added penance of shopping at Coles. Wonder if Bunnings will achieve anything with the takeover? I get sick of the whole pretend there's something for nothing - flybys, frequent flyers, discounts if you shop here and by there. Apparently when the Quakers started up in the 17th century they stuck to fair, set prices which the populace thought was a good idea and a bit of a change from the usual bargaining, hassling, shortchanging, and fingers on the scales. I'm waiting for someone in the early 21st century to start such a marketing ploy - and adding a bit of service (like someone serving me at the SERVICE station like they used to - along with checking oil, water, tyres and cleaning the windscreen while I sat in my seat). Wouldn't all that be novel?!?

Blessings, bliss and merry christmas to one and all